Three Questions –
by Fr. John Shimchick
When is the
best time to do each thing? Who
are the most important people to work with?
What is the most important thing to do at all times?
and What - these are the concerns raised by a certain king in Leo Tolstoy’s
story, “Three Questions,”
and he was willing to offer a great reward to anyone who could provide him the
answers. A number of people came forward, but not satisfied with any of their
responses he decided to consult a hermit well known for his wisdom.
Since the hermit would only receive common folk, the king took off his
crown, put on simple
clothes, left his bodyguard behind, and entering the woods to the hermit’s
cell alone he encountered the hermit and certain events that would forever
You can read the whole story on our website, but
he learned from the hermit concerning the questions of when, who, and what:
“There is only one time that is important -- Now! It is the most important
time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary
man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have
dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good,
because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!”
How these questions and answers actually get worked out in life is the
theme of our issue. William
Southrey discusses the efforts accomplished at the Atlantic City Rescue
Mission. Deacon Michael Sochka
describes the training he has received from the Red Cross in offering pastoral
care during a disaster. Julia
Raboteau explains the ministry of hospitality that takes place at Souls in
Motion, a day rehabilitation program that she works at in
. Stephen Keeler presents the life of Chiune Sugihara - Japanese diplomat,
Orthodox Christian, and liberator of thousands of Jews in 1940.
formerly of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC),
examines these issues in the context of the unique features of Orthodox
One could easily explore this theme in the life and long ministries of
Fr. John Nehrebecki and Fr. Paul Shafran whose retirements are presented.
We learn more about the activity of some of our Diocesan parishes and
hear about the visit of the Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir to Alaska..
Peter explores the meaning of the word, “Diaspora.”
Fr. George Gray reviews an important
document which analyzes the “New Age Movement” from a Christian
perspective. We feature an interview with Dean John Erickson of St. Vladimir’s
Seminary, who among
other things offers suggestions for interaction between our Diocese and the
This is our first issue since the summer of 2002 and I apologize to
those who have sent older materials that we were unable to include.
Limitations in Diocesan funding and some periods of creative inertia
prevented us from putting out an issue any sooner.
We hope to be on a more regular cycle from now on.
When pressed once on his acknowledgement that none of us is
perfect and asked about his own flaws and shortcomings, Fred Rogers, host of
“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” responded in the following way: “I’m
trying to be a better appreciator. I’m
just convinced that God wants us to find whatever we can that is of value in
the person we happen to be with at the moment.”
issue is dedicated to all who struggle with Tolstoy’s three questions and
their answers, to all who likewise desire to be “better appreciators,”
finding what we can of value in those whom God has placed in our life at the